Local artisan making his mark
Mickeal Bradshaw is still thrilled his penguin finished second in the community-voted Grande North Winter Festival Ice Carving Contest. However, the former oil and gas worker says he is still learning the ropes when it comes to his sculpting abilities.
“About a month ago I had no idea what was going on in the carving of an ice sculpture. A very good friend of my family called me and he asked me if I was interested in doing ice sculpting for the Great North Winter Festival, so I decided to give it a shot,” he says.
Bradshaw says he’s used to using tools such as a chisel and chainsaw, but admits it took quite a bit of trial and error before he was ready to carve his own sculpture .
“At first it was a bit intimidating and overwhelming, so we got into practice projects including ice sliding and we worked on other sculptures together. From there, I felt comfortable enough to start my own project and decided to make a penguin my sculpture,” he says.
Bradshaw’s sculpture came second in the community vote with 130 votes, behind the owl, which was voted the most popular in the competition with 143 votes. He says art has always been a big part of his life.
“I worked in the oil and gas industry as a welder and fitter for about 26 years, but I always had woodworking as a hobby. It got to the point where working in this field was no longer sustainable and I missed being away from my family, so I decided to try a career in woodworking,” he says. .
He then founded McBradshaw Woodworks three years ago, his own business which he runs from home. Bradshaw says the passion for woodworking runs in his family.
“My grandfather was a master carpenter and I was a tradesman for most of my life. Basically, I changed my approach from steel to wood,” he says.
Most of his projects involve the fabrication of custom furniture, including cabinets, mantels, dining room sets, bedroom sets, and more. He is always grateful to the community for supporting his work. For more information, visit the McBradshaw Woodworks Facebook page.